I've done about ten cooks since getting my WSM and had some of the same issues. The one fix I tried worked very well. Try foiling the water pan and keep it empty. I do this and have run the two bottom vents closed, one 50% open and the top 100% open and can hold 250* for hours. Vent adjusting will allow me to go to 275*-300*. Your lighting method and fuel seems to be okay. Smoke On
"98" Green Weber Performer
"95" Black Weber Platinum - Dumpster find workin' on it
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Smokin' Bucky UDS
Faster than the Speed of Light Red Thermapen, Certified MOINK Ball Maker
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